Norton Reports Her Actions During First Week of Telework to Encourage Constituents to Continue Seeking Help and Information as Usual

Mar 25, 2020
Press Release

March 25, 2020

Contact: Sharon Eliza Nichols


WASHINGTON, D.C. – To encourage District of Columbia residents to continue to seek assistance and information from her office as normal during the coronavirus crisis, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released actions taken by her office during its first week of teleworking. Norton is a member of the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force to help keep Congress ahead of the curve and to obtain the latest information.


50+ Actions Taken by Congressional Office in First Week of Telework

Among other pressing matters relating to the coronavirus, Norton wrote letters to federal leaders and officials (either alone or with other Members of Congress) urging them to correct unsafe practices by the U.S. Marshals Service affecting people in custody in the D.C. Superior Court; to prioritize coronavirus testing for the National Capital Region; to mandate telework for all eligible federal employees and contractors; to cancel student debt; to expand unemployment insurance; and to fund public transit, including Metro and Amtrak. See the full list below.


District Office Helping Small Businesses and Many Others

In addition to the letters she wrote to federal leaders and officials, Norton contacted the State Department on behalf of 40 D.C. residents stranded in Morocco, Peru, and Ghana; disseminated information on Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Loans to 1,175 small businesses, nonprofits, and advocacy groups; and helped constituents who were being evicted escalate their cases with the District of Columbia Housing Authority and Executive Office of the Mayor.


Letters Led by Norton Last Week:

  1. Urging the D.C. Superior Court and U.S. Marshals Service to ensure safety of personnel and inmates during the coronavirus.
  2. Asking the Department of Justice to apply the First Step Act, which allows increased access to early release, to D.C. Code felons.
  3. Asking for the National Park Service’s plan to protect workers at outdoor facilities during the coronavirus.
  4. Urging the U.S. Parole Commission to use its authority to protect, and in some cases release, individuals under its jurisdiction in light of the coronavirus.
  5. Asking for an emergency measure on her National Children’s Museum Act (H.R. 5919) to prevent the museum’s closure.
  6. Asking the Department of Veterans Affairs  to suspend all timely filing deadlines for veterans and surviving family members with an Intent to File submission.
  7. Calling for the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management to allow federal employees paid time to care for family members during the coronavirus.
  8. Urging the Peace Corps to support its volunteers, all of whom are returning to the United States, with their transition home, including with health insurance and accommodations to self-quarantine.


Letters Cosigned by Norton Last Week Include Urging:

  1. The President to prioritize federally supported coronavirus testing in the National Capital Region.
  2. The President to mandate teleworking for all eligible federal employees and contractors.
  3. Congressional leadership to provide direct and continuing payments to individuals.
  4. Congressional leadership to provide student debt cancelation and immediate relief.
  5. The Small Business Administration to reduce the interest rate on Economic Injury Disaster Loans. 
  6. Congressional leadership to require the government to continue paying contractors, and require that contractors pay employees, even when their worksites are closed during the coronavirus.
  7. Congressional leadership to expand unemployment insurance. 
  8. Congressional leadership to provide funding to public transit agencies.
  9. Inclusion of U.S. territories in future coronavirus supplemental packages.
  10. Improved resiliency of wireless infrastructure during emergencies.
  11. Congressional leadership to issue AFG and SAFER grants to support fire and EMS departments facing equipment and staffing shortages.
  12. Support for the Small Business Repayment Relief Act, which would ensure every small business with an SBA loan automatically be relieved of their loan payments for the next six months.
  13. Support for the Pandemic Response and Emergency Preparedness Act, which would expand the menu of benefits available under the President’s COVID-19 Emergency Declaration.
  14. Congressional leadership to provide small businesses support in the form of grants, not just loans, during the coronavirus.
  15. Census Bureau Director Dr. Steve Dillingham to provide the Bureau’s plan to ensure an accurate count.
  16. Congressional leadership to include support for the travel and tourism industries in the next phase of coronavirus response.
  17. Credit bureaus Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian to immediately stop reporting missed payments on hospital bills, mortgage payments and credit card debt until the public health emergency has passed.
  18. The largest home mortgage lenders to halt all foreclosure proceedings until the public health emergency has passed.
  19. Congressional leadership to include direct cash assistance to small businesses, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and gig economy workers.
  20. Support for the Emergency Money to the People Act, which would provide $1,000 to every American earning up to $100,000.
  21. Support for the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act, which ensures student veterans will continue receiving full benefits even if their classes have been moved online.
  22. Suspension of immigration enforcement during the coronavirus pandemic.
  23. Support for the Unemployment Assistance for Individuals Impacted by the Pandemic Act.
  24. The President to use Department of Defense resources to detect, treat, and prevent coronavirus.
  25. Department of Defense to release a report detailing the DoD’s plan to protect servicemembers stationed abroad.
  26. Department of the Treasury to extend 2019 federal tax filing deadline.
  27. Support for an emergency increase of Social Security benefits.
  28. Support for the Retirement Protection Act, which would protect and rebuild America’s retirement savings.
  29. Congressional leadership to provide a short-term increase of $500 million for out of school programming.
  30. Congressional leadership to address mental health in coronavirus response.
  31. Congressional leadership to include an expanded, fully refundable Child Tax Credit and Lookback Provision for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
  32. The House Rules Committee to temporarily allow House Members to vote remotely during national emergencies like coronavirus.
  33. Fast-tracked and increased access to unemployment insurance and an influx of Medicaid funds to states across the country dealing with a health sector in crisis.
  34. U.S. Trade Representative to prioritize personal protective equipment like masks, gowns and gloves.
  35. Support for the No Student Loan Interest Act, which would ensure every student loan borrower is free from accumulating burdening interest charges during the coronavirus crisis.
  36. Congressional leadership to ensure that all persons in the U.S., regardless of citizenship status, have access to coronavirus testing and treatment.
  37. President Trump to include children in stimulus packages related to coronavirus.
  38. CEOs of major food retailers not to raise prices on goods at supermarkets during the coronavirus crisis.
  39. Treasury to support borrowers, taxpayers, and small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.
  40. Congressional leadership to support public transit agencies during coronavirus crisis.
  41. Congressional leadership to offer grants, not loans, to minority-owned small businesses.
  42. Congressional leadership to include national service programs and their members in any future legislation addressing coronavirus.
  43. Congressional leadership to ensure immigrant taxpayers aren’t left out of any programs included in coronavirus stimulus package.
  44. Attorney General William Barr to create a False Claims Act Task Force to specifically monitor and investigate violations of the False Claims Act under federal programs supporting the response to coronavirus.
  45. Congressional leadership to require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services to temporarily suspend the 2-year waiting period for Medicare coverage for individuals with Social Security Disability Insurance.
  46. President Trump to oppose a Social Security payroll tax cut as a means to help Americans during the coronavirus crisis and instead expand Social Security benefits.
  47. Congressional leadership for, at minimum, equal support for low-income earners in the third coronavirus supplemental package.
  48. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos to give Title III and Title V colleges and universities additional flexibility in Fiscal Year 2020.
  49. Access to flexible funding sources for programs benefitting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  50. President Trump to order DOJ to drop its support for the GOP’s lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act and to protect the health care of all Americans during this global health crisis.
  51. Secretary of State Pompeo to take immediate and comprehensive action to ensure that every American abroad can safely return home during the coronavirus crisis.
  52. Congressional leadership to prioritize the security and continuity of our nation’s election system during the coronavirus pandemic.
  53. Support for Amtrak and transit agencies, including Metro, in coronavirus relief package.
  54. Support for public transit agencies and their workforces to address financial strain resulting from drastic decrease in ridership and increasing costs for cleaning protocols.